En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 30, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Leaves being eaten off columbines
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, We recently planted some columbines and they have been doing quite well. Just today, we noticed that something has eaten all the leaves off a couple of the plants. Several that are planted close by seem to have escaped--so far. What could this be, and how do we treat it? Thanks.

ANSWER:

If all the leaves are gone, I would suspect deer.  I don't know what part of Austin you are in but some parts of Austin have high populations of deer and I can speak from experience that deer do like to eat Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana (Hinckley's golden columbine).  Both are listed as moderately deer resistant but in this time of drought the deer are very likely to eat whatever is available.  You can try some of the deer repellents (chemical or mechanical) that are available at nurseries or you can fence the area to keep the deer out of your garden.  Some people put black plastic netting over or use it to make a barrier around the plants to keep the deer from eating them.  It would depend on how tall your columbines are or how big your flower bed is as to whether this method would be a feasible method for your situation.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has an excellent article, "Reducing Deer Damage to Your Yard and Garden", with descriptions of several methods of control, including homemade repellents.

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Will deer eat lemon cypress trees from Hayden ID
June 02, 2012 - Do deer eat lemon cypress trees? We do not think so since they are so spiny, but wanted a clarification.
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant vines for trellis
December 07, 2009 - We would love to have a blooming vine on our trellis, but the deer devour ever attempt. Please recommend something! Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Overwintering possumhaw seedlings indoors in Pflugerville, TX.
September 30, 2009 - Can possumhaw (Ilex decidua) seedlings be kept indoors over the winter? The goal is to protect them from deer and there is no other good option (i.e., no protected outdoor porch, etc.), unless you ca...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for MD
March 26, 2012 - My home backs to the Muddy Branch Creek parkland,which is suffering greatly from a large deer population. Many of the plants that existed in the woods when we purchased our home (1986), such as mayap...
view the full question and answer

Native deer-resistant plants for Virginia
September 26, 2012 - I live in Roanoke/Salem Virginia and want to plant a few plants native to the area along the front yard rock wall. I would prefer they be the same, deer resistant, around 5-6 feet tall max and flower...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center